The Royal Campaign of FANTASY FEST 2017

When the thematic was chosen, AIDS Help didn’t know how apt it would be.

Talk about A Royal Renaissance!

Even with the uninvited and undesirable candidacy of Irma, the 4 official Candidates of The Royal Campaign of Fantasy Fest 2017 unanimously opted to forward with the annual fundraiser to benefit AIDS Help, concluding with the Royal Coronation Ball next Friday, October 20th.

“Our 4 Candidates chose a literal rebirth of their campaigns,” notes AIDS Help Executive Director Scott Pridgen. “Bucky Montgomery, Vicki Hodgson, ‘Saint’ Paul Murphy and Destiny Montgomery wanted to maintain the tradition and push for a return to normalcy — or Key West’s version of normalcy!”

Irma’s impact has reconfigured the allocation of funds raised for 2017, Pridgen explains.

“Our clients and residents of our properties  — which include Seniors, Veterans and people living with disabilities — do not have the luxury of filling out applications, then waiting, so our impact is immediate and ongoing. We are providing rental and utility assistance to those unexpectedly unemployed or underemployed; assisting with relocation, if they choose to leave the Keys; and staffers are also providing what we call ‘resource identification’ to anyone in the community, referring them to the appropriate social service organization or governmental agency.”

Even with the shortened timeframe, other traditions continued. Special events of benefit to all those competing range from a weekly ‘Aqua Idol’ competition at Aqua nightclub, 711 Duval, through next Tuesday, October 17th; the much-loved SundayBINGO upstairs at the 801 Bourbon Bar, hosted by reigning Queen Mother QMitch and equally rewarding all Candidates, which concludes this Sunday, October 15th; and the 2nd Annual Royal Retrospective, curated by Dennis Beaver and Cori Convertito, at The Custom House, 281 Front Street, on Thursday, October 19th.

The Royal Coronation Ball, presented by the Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, at 1500 Reynolds Street, from 6 p.m., will serve as both the culmination of the Royal Campaign and a salute to the rebirth of Key West post-Irma. $95 seated dinner ticket (which includes two votes) can be booked now at Produced by Erin McKenna and Bria (and hosted by Bria), overseen by We’ve Got The Keys, and DJed by Visualize, it’s an event that always sells out fast, so swift reservations are urged. General standing admission is $10 and also includes two votes.

“This much I can reveal: Irma did not win,” adds Christopher Elwell, President of the AIDS Help Board of Directors. “That we resumed the Royal Campaign and are staging the Coronation exactly as planned is a testament to this awesome community’s strength and support.”

* * * * * *  The Royal Coronation Ball, Friday October 20th, beginning at 6 p.m., at Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, 1500 Reynolds Street  * * * * * * *